Tag Archives: child to parent violence and abuse

“Powerful but dangerous”: telling stories about #CPV

Telling real human stories helps communicate hard, complicated issues to the wider public through the media, but anyone doing so should think carefully about what they are prepared to say and what the consequences might be, writes Karyn McCluskey.

I have written something similar to this in the past, but it always bears repeating … Think carefully before you put yourself and your family forward as a “case study”. Given that I myself put put shouts from time to time for people willing to speak to the press, I grant that this could be construed as hypocritical. I do believe that it is important for people to hear what it is really like to experience child to parent violence, and that without the personal stories it will take much longer for the reality of this tragedy to permeate the general consciousness. I know too that parents have heard another person speak about the help they have received, and it has been the starting point for their own journey back. But I also understand how damaging, and even dangerous,  it might be if you say things you later regret, or your child finds out you have mentioned them, or your family is recognised in some way. And that’s before you start reading the comments from people after the piece is published. Some journalists are happy for interviewees to remain anonymous. Others want to use names and faces, but even the former is not without potential difficulties.

 

So it seemed particularly ironic to me that I put out the most recent request for anyone willing to be interviewed, the same day I saw this piece in the Scotsman from Karyn McCluskey. What Karyn says is important for families to think about, and also a warning to those of us who make the requests.

  • What do you hope to add by using a personal story?
  • How much detail is really needed?
  • What does consent mean when someone is very vulnerable?

Please do read the whole piece. It’s certainly worth thinking about more!

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(January 30th.) There has been so much interest in the original article and discussion on twitter, that I thought it worth adding some more thoughts.

Firstly: How much do we truly value the input of people in this situation?  Parents, families, individuals are often asked to contribute their experience at conferences or other events, but for no fee, perhaps just expenses. If we really value the input of those with lived experience, and we want to make use of their expertise (for our ends) then we need to be demonstrating this value in a more appropriate and honest way! A proper fee at the very least. Or how can individuals be brought on board as paid up members of our organisation? (Thank you June for raising this.)

Secondly, The_battered_parent makes an important point about the hopefully transient nature of this. Young people can and do change and that is what we are working to bring about: I hide behind this name to speak about #CPV. My experience needs to be heard yet we as a family need to heal, reunite & move forward. I don’t want people to know my son for the bad choices made in his teen years. He’ll be an adult soon & will need to find a job…

Thanks again. Keep those comments coming!

 

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A message of hope for 2020, Break4Change in Rochdale

When I sent out an invitation in November for people to write something for me, I never expected to receive such interesting contributions!  I’m thrilled to be able to start a new year with the first of these contributions from Emily Nickson-Williams, who I have been following on twitter after seeing some very positive comments about the work her team were engaged in around child to parent violence. Emily is the lead for the ‘Relationships Revolution’ at Rochdale Council.  She has worked in Children’s Services for the last 17 years and has pioneered a number of initiatives for vulnerable families.  Her work has been described as ‘inspirational’ and her more recent efforts developing work around the relationships agenda, including responses to child to parent violence and abuse, led to her receiving the Innovation Award in 2017. Emily brings us a letter from a parent who has attended one of the Break4Change programmes running as part of this work.

I think that for me this open letter is a message of hope.  Hope for other families who may be too afraid to come forward to speak to someone because of the fear of consequences from Children’s Services and the Police.  The message we would like to give families living in Rochdale is this… Continue reading

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Where are the posters on the back of toilet doors?

A few weeks ago someone tweeted a photo of a poster in a toilet cubicle advertising domestic abuse services (in this case in Australia), and it reminded me of a plea which had been made at a conference I attended, that we should make it easier for individuals to find out about the help available to them if they are being abused by their children …

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The Challenge for Social Workers – Take Action on Child to Parent Violence & Abuse

I’m pleased to bring you this recent post by Declan Coogan, first published on the Irish Social Work blog.

Irish Social Work

12th November 2019

In different parts of Ireland, parents/ carers are living in fear of a son or daughter who lives with them and who is under the age of 18 years of age.

Parents are feeling powerless

As a social worker, psychotherapist and researcher, I have heard parents describe their feelings of walking on eggshells around their child and of living in fear of the next explosive outburst leading to threats and acts of harm and/ or violence against parents who feel powerless and alone. Social workers and other health and social care practitioners in voluntary and statutory services talk about the feelings we face when parents and carers tell us about living in fear of their child under the age of 18 years old. We are faced with difficult dilemmas: how can we resist the impulse towards a quick and easy solution that probably will not work…

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The New Research Page

Many thanks to all those who have sent me details of the research they are currently or recently engaged in. I have started to rebuild the Research page, which will now include “Research Requests” and also the Directory. You will be able to see who is engaged in research in the field of child to parent violence around Britain particularly, but also further afield. There will be links to contact details, title of the work and more information about the projects themselves, as well as publications. I hope that this will be informative to those thinking of work in this area, and encouraging to the rest of us!

The directory is far from comprehensive as it stands, and there is more work still to do before it is as I want it, but it’s a start. Please do contact me if you would like to be included; and of course if you would like to place a request for participants or information regarding your work.

Thanks!

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CPV Research Directory

There has been some interest expressed in the development of a CPV research directory. I find it incredible that only ten years people were finding it difficult to source very much literature around the issue of child to parent violence and abuse, and yet now we have research taking place at different levels, in different disciplines, in many universities across this country and around the world. A number of students have commented that it would be useful to know of other research taking place as they embark on their own studies, whether to deepen the conversation, to share findings and insights or to ‘plug in to’ a wider community.

Over the next months I propose to contact academics and students that I know to start building up a directory which would include:

  • Researcher’s name, discipline and university
  • Research title
  • Papers already published
  • Contact details if agreed

I will then start to rebuild the Research page on my website to include this new information. I already know from social media that there is far more work going on than I was aware of, and so if you don’t hear from me but would like to be included in this, please drop me a line via my contact page.

Is this something that sounds useful to you? How would you personally make use of it? Would you like to be included? Do you know of anyone else that you could point this way? Get in touch – I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

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Raising Awareness of #CPV, Episode 38

I am continually encouraged by the openness and indeed willingness of the BBC and other media to tackle the issue of child to parent violence and abuse. When I am contacted there is a recognition that this is an important emerging topic; and there is an understanding of the prevailing myths and that a more nuanced explanation is called for than simply attributing it to poor parenting. More than this though, I frequently hear “we covered it a while ago and promised were would come back to it later”, and ” we need to raise awareness”. Continue reading

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